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Gold's Lethal Toll in Indonesia

Gold's Lethal Toll in Indonesia

View on The Global Environmental Justice site

This film was selected by Rosemary Carbine, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Whittier College  

Why I chose this film
Although this film lacks religious studies content, I chose it because it explores the effects of a growing global industry on ecological and public health. It offers religious studies students an opportunity to do independent research into whether or how religious groups are responding to this industry’s effects, which occur primarily in poor communities.

Teacher's guide    
Please see the teacher's guide for maps, background information and suggested subjects, questions and activities.

This short film spotlights the alarming global rise of mercury pollution of air, water, and soil as well as severe disabilities, diseases, and death attributed to mercury poisoning in developing communities involved in small-scale gold mining, one of the major sources of mercury pollution worldwide. Through a case study of one community on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, this film examines the negative ecological and public health impacts of this industry, including neurological and child developmental problems.

Environmental Justice Focus
In Indonesia, the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining has huge health consequences for those living near mining operations. Toxic plumes and other forms of exposure cause neurological problems, bone deformities, vision loss, deafness, and even death.
- Excerpted from the Pulitzer Center website about the film

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